Court Reinstates Monarch Dethroned by El-Rufai, Fines Kaduna Govt.

Five days after the Kaduna State Assembly probe panel indicted the former Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, for misappropriating 423 billion Naira, the National Industrial Court nullified his dethronement of the paramount monarch of Piriga Chiefdom, His Highness Chief Jonathan Pharaguwa Zamuna.

Delivering a 53-minute judgment, Justice Bashir Attahiru Alkali, having established that the Industrial Court has jurisdiction to entertain the case, averred that the government of former Governor El-Rufai did not comply with due process in dethroning the third-class monarch of Piriga. Therefore, he declared the act unconstitutional, illegal, unfair, null, and void.

The court ordered the reinstatement of Chief Zamuna to the throne with all salaries and privileges restored. Additionally, it ordered the Kaduna State government to pay damages of 10 million Naira to Chief Zamuna and comply with the judgment within 30 days.

Reacting to the ruling, Henriata Yokunbo Esquire, who represented the lead counsel to the claimant, Napoleon Idenala, emphasized fair hearing as key to justice and the rule of law.

However, James Kanyip Esquire, representing the lead counsel to the defendant and the Kaduna State government, declined to comment on the ruling.

It will be recalled that Chief Zamuna was dethroned on May 22, 2023, by the government of Nasir El-Rufai, a few days before the end of his tenure, following a communal clash in the chiefdom that resulted in two deaths and the burning of houses.

Chief Zamuna approached the Industrial Court, seeking to set aside the dethronement due to lack of fair hearing, as he neither received a query nor was invited to present his side of the story regarding the allegations against him.


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